Women changemakers – let’s talk self-care

Some say your life’s purpose something you’d do for free. If that were true, why do so many feel burned out by purpose-driven work? Plus consider that the front-lines of these professions (nonprofits, NGOs, social impact, human services, advocacy…) are highly populated by women. Let’s talk about this! A meet-up is bring proposed for SXSW 2020 to do just that.

The proposed meet-up is titled Women changemakers – let’s talk self-care. And we need you, the public, to show your support for this idea during the community voting period (Aug. 5 – Aug. 23, 2019). Please go to panelpicker.sxsw.com , log in and vote-up and comment on this proposal if you’d like to see it at the next SXSW. Here is a video about it:

Research that suggests 50% of nonprofit employees are either at or nearing burnout (Opportunity Knocks). So, as we do our work, should we keep this metaphor in mind: when there is a problem with the plane, put your own oxygen mask on first?

Please take a look at the video describing the details; and vote and comment here. Thank you very much, and we hope to see you at SXSW 2020.

Philanthropists Offer Grant Tips

Do you have an idea for the next innovation in education and wonder if it could win a grant? A panel is being proposed for SXSW EDU 2020 that would help education practitioners, administrators and nonprofits who are searching for project funding.

The proposed panel is titled Get that Grant: Tips and Trends from Philanthropists. And we need you, the public, to show your support for this idea during the community voting period (Aug. 5 – Aug. 23, 2019). Please go to panelpicker.sxsw.com , log in and vote-up and comment on this proposal if you’d like to see it at the next SXSW EDU.

One very exciting bit of news is three very strong and knowledgeable philanthropists have already committed to participating! Their perspective and information will prove to be indispensable to grant-seekers. The grantmakers who have committed are:

These philanthropists will demystify the grant funding process during this proposed panel. They will describe what makes a successful project and how to make your grant request shine. You’ll learn what innovations today’s education funders are looking for, how to propose your project ideas and what you need to do to Get that Grant!

Please take a look at the video describing the details; and vote and comment here. Thank you very much, and we hope to see you at SXSW EDU.

Nonprofits: Get that Grant!

Grant Writing Class at Austin’s Center for Nonprofit Studies

I am excited about helping nonprofits achieve their missions. Similarly, I love helping nonprofit orgs get grant funding. So I am thrilled to let you know here that I’ll be presenting a day-long Grant Writing seminar at Austin’s Center for Nonprofit Studies on June 26th, 2019. I hope you’ll join me!

Get ready to look at grant writing in a new way – and energize your fundraising efforts! We’ll cover the basics of applications that support nonprofit organizations. We’ll cover:

  • Overview of grant funding
  • Your “success compass” – Top-line information about three key areas will point the way to a strong application. In this class we will focus on what you need to know and how to gather that information.
    • Know your organization
    • Know your potential funder
    • Know yourself (and your job)
  • The application journey – Once you have the facts above, you are ready to take the application journey. A strong application process will help you build a successful application. This class will teach the essential activities of going from step to step to step.
    • Step one: Our Nonprofit Organization has a Dream
    • Step two: We Have Found a Potential Grant Funder
    • Step three: We Have Turned in the Application
    • (Step four: Celebrate Success!)
  • Key tools for success – Now that you have the outline of what you need and how to proceed, this last section will give you practical tips, tools and hacks for crafting a successful application.

I have been writing grant applications since the 1990s and have raised over $11 million in grant funds for recipient organizations.  I also hold a master’s degree in Business with an Arts Administration (Nonprofit) specialization, and am Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Here is the link for tickets. I hope you’ll join me to learn more about successful grant writing on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at ACC Highland Business Center, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752.

Image: Cutrer

#SXSW 2019 Preview for Nonprofits

Nonprofits are here to change the world. And SXSW® is here to inspire do-gooders in their work.

Whether you are headed to #SXSW2019 or keeping up with the conference on social media – keep an eye on this site for this “nonprofit geek’s” descriptions of top offerings from the SXSW Social & Global Impact track.

Brené Brown (March 8th at 11:00 a.m. – Austin Convention Center)

The strength of our beliefs can be the foundation for positive changes.  Storyteller, Researcher and Author Brené Brown (Daring Greatly, Rising Strong…) will address top questions that change-makers face in an age of increased polarization. Is it possible to improve the world in a culture of shaming and blaming? Brown’s keynote will shed light on the effort it takes to show up and make a difference in our communities.

Stay tuned to this page for more Social & Global Impact SXSW® picks from Your Nonprofit Geek.

Image: Blake

Amplify Your Nonprofit’s Online Donations

Christine Herlin, Manager of Nonprofit & Customer Relations at I Live Here I Give Here

It seems every internet advancement produces a new way for nonprofits to spread the word about their work. Amplify Austin Day is one such way for nonprofits to describe their mission and reach potential supporters.

On January 4th, 2019 the Texas Grants Resource Center Nonprofit Networking and Learning Program presented “Amplify Austin – Your Questions Answered.” The speaker was Christine Herlin, Manager of Nonprofit & Customer Relations at I Live Here I Give Here which is a nonprofit that helps promote philanthropy in Central Texas and whose signature program is Amplify Austin Day.

Christine shared some great information about online giving, such as:

  • 61% of donors worldwide prefer to give online;
  • 75% of donors use social media as a primary news source;
  • 90% of Amplify Austin’s donations from social media come through Facebook;
  • 62% of millennials give online & are inspired by social.

Some additional tips as your nonprofit enters a giving campaign include: set your goals as a team, set measurable goals, and set goals that are bold, meaningful and attainable. In 2019, Amplify Austin Day will be from February 28th to March 1st.

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Data Source: I Live Here I Give Here, “Who Is I Live Here I Give Here”;

Image: Erler

Wine Knowledge Helps Nonprofit Professionals

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Andrew Stevens of Twin Liquors Marketplace at Hill Country Galleria (Store #60) teaches a class on French Wine

A headline like that needs an explanation, doesn’t it?

Well, networking and socializing are key activities for development officers and other nonprofit professionals. Recognizing this, the Texas Grants Resource Center and the Grant Professionals Association – Austin Chapter partnered to bring an essential (and fun) event to their members: French Wine 101 – a primer for nonprofit events and fundraisers.

The attendees got a chance to learn about and taste wines from France. And the group also learned wine essentials like how to decant wine and how to increase your vocabulary of taste descriptions (hint: taste, smell and savor various natural items – like during a visit to a farmer’s market). But folks also took the opportunity to socialize, win prizes and have some holiday cheer.

Special and heart-felt thanks goes to the skillful presenter Andrew Stevens and the Twin Liquors Store #60  Manager, Andrew Zemites.

Andrew Stevens lead the group on an exciting and educational virtual journey through French wine country. Attendees learned not just about how wines are made and what to look for when enjoying them, but they learned the history and social aspects of the French regions as well. Andrew Zemites kindly set the whole experience up and created a very welcoming environment.

If anyone has questions about any wines or other spirits, the team at Twin Liquors Marketplace at Hill Country Galleria (Store #60), 3925 Market St, Bee Cave, TX have proven they will give you kind and knowledgeable service. You can find the store next to Dick’s Sporting Goods and behind the Verizon store at the Hill Country Galleria.

wine

And by the way, here are the wonderful wines that were covered in the class:

  • Alsace – Mure Reisling Signature
  • Loire – Dom Dugois Trousseau
  • Roussillon – Cuvee Constance
  • Burgundy – Liger-Belair Bourgogne
  • Bordeaux – Neipperg Collection
  • Rhone – La Fermes Du Mont Vendange

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Images: Erler, Cochran

Get that grant!

Grant Writing Class at Austin’s Center for Nonprofit Studies

I am thrilled to share the news: I’ll be presenting a day-long Grant Writing seminar at Austin’s Center for Nonprofit Studies on December 4th, 2018. I hope you’ll join me!

Get ready to look at grant writing in a new way – and energize your fundraising efforts! We’ll cover the basics of applications that support nonprofit organizations; join us if your level is anywhere from beginner up to intermediate. We’ll cover:

  • Overview of grant funding
  • Your “success compass” – Top-line information about three key areas will point the way to a strong application. In this class we will focus on what you need to know and how to gather that information.
    • Know your organization
    • Know your potential funder
    • Know yourself (and your job)
  • The application journey – Once you have the facts above, you are ready to take the application journey. A strong application process will help you build a successful application. This class will teach the essential activities of going from step to step to step.
    • Step one: Our Nonprofit Organization has a Dream
    • Step two: We Have Found a Potential Grant Funder
    • Step three: We Have Turned in the Application
    • (Step four: Celebrate Success!)
  • Key tools for success – Now that you have the outline of what you need and how to proceed, this last section will give you practical tips, tools and hacks for crafting a successful application.

I am excited about helping nonprofits achieve their missions. I have been writing grant applications since the 1990s and have raised over $10 million in grant funds for recipient organizations.  I also hold a master’s degree in Business with an Arts Administration (Nonprofit) specialization, and am Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Here is the link for tickets. I hope you’ll join me to learn more about successful grant writing on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at ACC Highland Business Center, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752.

Money image

Image: Cutrer

Top Ways the Tax Law Impacts Nonprofits

TGRC Tax presentation

Timothy A. Clark, Managing Director UST and Wealth Strategies Advisor at U.S. Trust speaks to nonprofit professionals at the Texas Grants Resource Center

Many of the changes to the federal tax code (passed at the end of 2017) have taken effect this year. This month, the Texas Grants Resource Center (TGRC) had a primer on how these changes might influence the work of nonprofit organizations.

Timothy A. Clark, Managing Director UST and Wealth Strategies Advisor at U.S. Trust and Amber Carden, Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management spoke to nonprofit professionals at the TGRC to help guide their mission-driven work through the maze of tax changes.

Some of the top tax law changes that might impact nonprofits are:

  • The adjusted gross income limitation on cash contributions to public charities, including donor advised funds, was increased from 50 to 60 percent;
  • Standard deduction increased from $12,700 to $24,000 for those filing Married-Joint;
  • Pease limitations were repealed (phase-out of itemized deductions no longer applicable).

Will these changes lead to more or less charitable giving? Conventional wisdom suggests that an increase in the standard deduction (for example) means fewer people will itemize deductions, meaning fewer people will be able to take the federal income tax charitable deduction.

However, Americans have been making charitable gifts since before there was even a tax code. Also the data shows that Americans give to nonprofits because they are charitable (not necessarily for a tax incentive). This was one the biggest take-aways from the presentation: nonprofits should keep appealing to donors’ sense of going good – this sense is generally a higher motivator than tax incentives.

 

 

Image: Erler

IMPORTANT:  This presentation is designed to provide general information about ideas and strategies. It is for discussion purposes only since the availability and effectiveness of any strategy are dependent upon your individual facts and circumstances. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy.
 

How Can Nonprofits Best Use Facebook?

Facebook at TGRC Sept 2018

On September 25th Veronica Peñaloza Wolfermann, Facebook Account Manager for nonprofits spoke to a group of nonprofit professionals from Texas Grants Resource Center

Social Media is a great way to get the word out about the work of your nonprofit organization. Facebook offers so many options for nonprofits: from outreach to fundraising. On September 25th, 2018 Veronica Peñaloza Wolfermann, Facebook Account Manager for nonprofits spoke to a group of nonprofit professionals from Texas Grants Resource Center about how best to use Facebook for the good of the community.

Here is a selection of some of the info, tips and hacks that Veronica described:

  • There are currently 2 million nonprofit pages on Facebook
  • 150 million people are connected to a nonprofit page on Facebook
  • If a nonprofit wants to get verified with Facebook this is the link to start: facebook.com/donate/signup
  • Also it would be wise for a nonprofit to be registered and up to date with GuideStar
  • Facebook will be participating in a coordinated effort for #GivingTuesday (this year it is November 27th)
  • 100% of donations made through Facebook payments to nonprofits now go directly to those organizations
  • Suggestion: if you have an influencer who supports your nonprofit, ask that influencer to add a ‘donate’ button to a Facebook live video
  • Some nonprofits that use Facebook well (to look at for examples): St. Jude Children’s Research Hosptial, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Save the Children.
  • If a nonprofit has a donate button on a Facebook live feed, there is 10 times more engagement than other “non video” donation posts.
  • Nonprofits can set up mentorships if their page has a group
  • When deciding what to post on your nonprofit’s page, always ask: “will this translate into donations, volunteers or other support?” If the subject is not aligned with the nonprofit’s mission, the post probably won’t help much (even if it gets a lot of likes).

Here is a link to some of the Facebook offerings that Veronica described. Here is a link to info about future Texas Grants Resource Center presentations.

 

 

 

Image: Erler

 

The Benefits of Conversations

ManyChat 2018

Most of you know me as The Nonprofit Geek. But in order to spread the word about the importance of nonprofits – one needs to be up-to-date on social media uses.

So, I attended the Conversations 2018 Messenger Marketing & Chatbot Conference powered by ManyChat.

There is a recently-introduced marketing channel called Messenger Marketing. This channel developed when Facebook opened the opportunity (in 2016) for companies (such as ManyChat) to develop tools to interface with Facebook Messenger.

It was great to learn about a cutting-edge trend. And even if you don’t use the Messenger Marketing channel (yet) – there were lots of great marketing tips shared at #Conversations2018.

Here are my notes from Day One of #Conversations2018 (including the names of the experts credited with sharing these nuggets of super wisdom). Enjoy!

  • The average open rate for email is 20%; for messenger is 70-90%;
  • The average click through rate for email is 2.4%; for messenger is 20-30%;
  • A person checks smart phone 110x a day on average;
  • People naturally want a feeling of progress – so remove obstacles for them;
  • Listen to your audience: what are they asking; what progress do they want to make; where are they hanging out?
  • People like learning about themselves. Create some quizzes to help them (and learn about them at the same time);
  • Success requires measurement;
  • Create irresistible content and promote it;
  • Include an incentive to engage;
  • Create custom audiences of engagement;
  • Learn about and use Facebook custom audiences;
  • Craft your narrative first;
  • Questions can be boiled down to just 8: who, what, when, where, why, how, which and I (will I?/ should I? / can I?);
  • Instead of asking “Do you have any questions?” or “How can I help?” try asking a ‘binary’ question (i.e. yes or no answer or just two answer options).
  • If you are starting out – start with just one business objective to solve (don’t get too complicated).

Thank You Sources: Mikael Yang, CEO ManyChat, Molly Pittman, ManyChat; Dan Gamito, ManyChat, Ryan Deiss, DigitalMarketer, Brian Bagdasarian, HubSpot, Rachel Miller, Moolah Marketing, Stefanos Loukakos, Head of Messenger Business at Facebook

 

Funder Focus: The Moody Foundation

Moody 3

Bernice Torregrossa, Grants Analyst and Regional Grants Director for The Moody Foundation speaks to nonprofit professionals at the Texas Grants Resource Center

On August 23, 2018, The Moody Foundation‘s Bernice Torregrossa, Grants Analyst and Regional Grants Director for Central Texas, spoke at the Texas Grants Resource Center. She described the philanthropic work of the Foundation, gave information about the guidelines for applying and answered questions from the nonprofit professionals in the audience.

The Moody Foundation is a Texas funder that supports the arts, education, environment, health, and social services. The Foundation accepts inquiry letters on an ongoing basis from Texas-based nonprofits. Over the years, the Moody Foundation has made more than $1.2 billion in grants throughout the state.

The Texas Grants Resource Center’s monthly presentations for nonprofit professionals further the mission of the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). The DDCE’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) houses this program. To sign up to get first notice of upcoming speakers go to this page.

Thank you to the Moody Foundation for all the work you do to support Texas and for coming to present to central Texas nonprofit organizations at TGRC.

 

 

Image: Erler

Inspiration from Women Leaders

July peoplefund

PeopleFund’s July PeopleSpring event featured: Tam Hawkins of The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, Christine Vu of Raymond James & Associates, Chris Mascaro of Untamed & Creative, and was moderated by Kelly Jedele of Let Kelly.

Austin has an energetic small business community – and that energy was on display at the July 26th edition of PeopleSpring – Ladies, Lunch and Learn. This networking, leadership, and women’s luncheon event was presented by Texas’ PeopleFund – a nonprofit providing business loans and assistance to those with otherwise limited access to such resources – and was sponsored by Capital One.

The panel discussion was moderated by Kelly Jedele of Let Kelly and featured Tam Hawkins of The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce,  Chris Mascaro of Untamed & Creative, and Christine Vu of Raymond James & Associates.

The audience heard many great pearls of wisdom, including:

  • No matter how much one has accomplished, there is always something left to learn;
  • Do things that build your confidence;
  • Model yourself on the best in the industry and then improve upon that;
  • Seek out your tribe to uplift and support you;
  • Enjoy the journey!

PeopleFund will be providing even more opportunities for learning and inspiration for small businesses in August with Innovation Week.

 

 

Image: Erler